Our dear friends, Tom and Karen Lampe, gave us a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas — a map of Paris — in anticipation of the trip the 4 of us hope to take in September, in celebration of our mutual wedding anniversaries (over 70 years between us!). We love Tom and Karen but have been taking their names in vain as we wrestle with this evil puzzle. Here is what one small bit of it looks like:
Yes. It’s all green. Except for the Seine and we got that assembled right away. We find ourselves mumbling “Rue de something or other,” or “Boulevard this and that.” Neil nearly started divorce proceedings when he thought I’d undone his hard-earned Place Victor Hugo. (I did no such thing: the poor man was hallucinating. There is no Place Victor Hugo on this particular puzzle).
The puzzle resides on the coffee table at Shangri-Lar so we work on it sporadically. We were up today and got a few — maybe five– new pieces in place.
Since I am working on a manuscript revision, I couldn’t help but make connections between our puzzle efforts and my writing efforts: I had driven myself crazy looking for the rest of Rue de Entrepreneurs (I needed the “neurs”). I walked away from the puzzle – literally– and took Winston outside for a bit of fresh air and some relief. When I returned, it was as if the piece I’d given up on jumped into my hand.
I think it’s that way with revising, too. We work and tweak and go cross-eyed and it seems there is no hope of connecting the pieces. Then, we take a quick break and, voila, we return to find the answer fairly leaping onto the page.
I know, I know: I preach sitting in the chair until the work is done. But sometimes, a quick walk around the front yard — or the Rue de Entrepreneurs — is just the billet (ticket)!